Madeira Islands Open blown off course

Strong winds forced the players back to the clubhouse at the Madeira Islands Open on Thursday, making play impossible and leaving the organsiers no choice but to reduce the tournament to 54 holes.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015, 10:29 AM IST
Madeira Islands Open blown off course

Madeira Island: Strong winds forced the players back to the clubhouse at the Madeira Islands Open on Thursday, making play impossible and leaving the organsiers no choice but to reduce the tournament to 54 holes.

Gusts reached 47 mph and stayed steadily above 35 mph throughout the day, causing balls to move on the greens at the mountain-top venue.

The first round is now scheduled to start on Friday, with tee times for the first two rounds remaining unchanged and the cut coming after 36 holes.

Tournament director Jose Maria Zamora said: "Despite the efforts we`ve made -- we didn`t cut the greens for the last two days because we knew about this forecast -- winds have been too strong and gusty. Every time we sent our referees to check, the balls were moving on the green.

"The players have been waiting in the players` lounge now for up to eight hours, so the best option is to send them back and start fresh tomorrow."

The wind is forecast to die down overnight, although rain and possible thunderstorms could affect play on Friday.

The tournament has suffered numerous weather problems down the years and was reduced to 36 holes last year due to lengthy fog delays.